Black or Green Nuevo Sol? An Environmental and Societal Examination of Petroleum Extraction in Peru and Whether the Ecuadorian Yasuni ITT Initiative Provides a More Holistic Alternative

Adrian Gonzalez

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This article examines the Amazonian countries of Peru and Ecuador, their differing policy directions on petroleum extraction and the impact these continue to have on the environment and the Indians of the Amazon Basin. It begins by analysing the international laws in place to safeguard indigenous communities, followed by a discussion on Peru, which reveals how successive Lima governments have ridden roughshod over the legitimate rights of the native population. This has culminated in the gravest risk yet; a ‘mega concession’ for extraction that covers over 10 million acres of rainforest, threatening numerous communities. The environmental and societal repercussions this would have will be highlighted through a study of the Achuar tribe in the Corrientes River Basin, who have suffered thirty years of oil extraction on their land. This is followed by a critique of Ecuador, a country that trod a similar policy path to Peru, but is now taking a bold environmental approach to petroleum extraction through the Yasuni ITT Initiative. This enterprise will be explored alongside the possible motives behind it leading to a theoretical argument; that the scheme could provide Peru with a credible alternative to petroleum extraction which would not only safeguard the indigenous tribes and their rights, but also protect the Peruvian Amazonian Basin from further damage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-82
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Peace, Conflict & Development (PC&D)
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


  • Peru
  • Ecuador
  • Petroleum extraction
  • environmental impact
  • Yasuni ITT Initiative

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